“One of the best times for figuring out who you are and what you really want out of life? Right after a break-up.” Mandy Hale understood the value of a break-up in personal growth.
Finding ourselves suddenly independent can help us discover who we are. When done in a healthy way, a break-up can be freeing and enlightening.
Unfortunately, our heart often has a way of holding on, even when our head knows things are over.
Here are 5 thoughts that can hold you back from a healthy break-up – and why you should ignore them:
1. You want to remain friends.
This can be tempting, and even seems reasonable. Your ex was a big part of your life for a long time. To go from being so close to not speaking at all can seem unnatural. Unfortunately, immediately befriending an ex after a break-up is a terrible idea. You need space if you truly want to get over one another and move on. You need to rediscover yourself as an individual. Taking time apart is truly the kindest thing you can do for one another. If you still care about each other and don’t want to see either party get hurt, this is the way to go. Maybe someday you will be friends. Sadly, today is not that day.
2. You can’t decide whether or not your love was real.
Most likely, if you are upset over the end of this relationship, there was something worthwhile there. It can be tempting to try to convince yourself that there wasn’t. This seems like a clever way to protect your heart. Unfortunately, this strategy is just setting yourself up for a major breakdown when the day comes that you can no longer live in denial. You don’t have to discount what you and your ex had. You don’t have to idealize it, either. Examining your relationship with realism, honesty, and vulnerability can be healthy and help you to move on.
3. Your ex is dating somebody who is smarter, cooler, and better looking than you.
Spoiler: They aren’t. You’re just feeling insecure because of the breakup. Deep down, you worry that your ex might have upgraded – so, in your mind, it becomes true. The mature approach to this dilemma is to focus on your own good qualities. Of course, you could also just tell yourself their new partner is probably completely psycho/hopelessly boring/terrible in bed.
4. You run into them, and notice they lost weight, caught a tan, and got a great haircut. They’re more attractive than ever before!
The things we can’t have always seem more attractive than the ones that are truly our own. Your brain is playing tricks on you, pining after what it can no longer attain. Most likely, you didn’t break up because of surface appearances. Their newfound hotness probably just in your head. Even if it isn’t, it doesn’t change the reason things didn’t work out between the two of you.
5. They look so happy in their new pictures on social media!
First of all, you need to stop looking at your ex’s social media accounts. This seems impossible, but if you can do it, it’s truly for the best. No good can come from staying up late stalking their Instagram. Social media, after all, is mostly lies. We only put our best out there for the world to see. For every photo in which your ex is having the time of their life, there are likely three of them looking bored, sad, or deeply lost. Stop analyzing your ex’s level of happiness. Put that energy into raising your own!
“When we are in love, we are convinced nobody else will do. But as time goes, others do do, and often do do, much much better,” wrote Coco J. Ginger.
In the heat of a break-up, things can seem confusing. You may be filled with terror and self-doubt.
Keep on bravely. Once you get far enough from your old life, you will find that better things are waiting for you.